Course Descriptions

HSC 555: Society, Culture & Mental Health

This course explores and reveals the diverse effects of culture and society on mental health, mental illness, and mental health services. The diverse range of cultures and individual variations bears upon what people bring to the clinical setting, while cultures of the clinician and the service system shape the interaction with the mental health consumer through diagnosis and treatment. This understanding is the key to developing mental health services that are more responsive to the cultural and social contexts of racial and ethnic minorities. It looks at the culture of the patient, the culture of the clinician, and the specialty in which the clinician works using case studies to illustrate the diverse patterns and impact of society and culture on mental health and illness.
The following are the skills and areas of knowledge that students would be expected to acquire upon completion of the course:
  1. Describe, how the process of medicalization shapes definitions and rates of mental disorder across time.
  2. Describe the social determinants of stress and mental illness across major demographic groups.
  3. To understand how systems of stratification (race, gender, sexuality, social class) shape risk of (and responses to) mental disorder.
  4. Describe the types of public policy challenges that are commonly faced by individuals with mental illness.
Completion of core courses
  1. It is the student’s responsibility to gather information about the assignments and covered topics during the lectures missed. Regular class attendance is mandatory. Points will be taken off for missing classes. Without 70% of attendance, sitting for the final exam is NOT allowed. According to IUB system, students must enter the classroom within the first 20 minutes to get the attendance submitted.
  2. The date and syllabus of the quiz, midterm, and final exam are already given here, however, announcements will be given ahead of time. There is NO provision for make-up quizzes.
  3. The reading materials for each class will be given prior to that class so that student may have a cursory look at the materials.
  4. Class participation is vital for better discussing of sociological issues. Students are invited to raise questions.
  5. Students should take tutorials with the instructor during the office hours. Prior appointment is required.
  6. Students must maintain the IUB code of conduct and ethical guidelines offered by the School of Public Health.
The course will be based mostly on the following books [some other books and journals may be referred time to time]:
  1. Lois A. Ritter; Shirley Manly Lampkin: Community Mental Health, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2011.
  2. Jerry Tew: Social Perspectives in Mental Health: Developing Social Models to Understand and Work with Mental Distress: Jessica Kingsley publishers, 2005.
  3. “Sociology of Mental Disorders” by William Cockerham (9th edition).
  4. Luhrmann, T. M. (2000). Of two minds: An anthropologist looks at American psychiatry. New York: Randon House.
Students will be assessed on the basis of their overall performance in all the exams, quizzes, and class participation. Final numeric reward will be the compilation of:
• Two quizzes due in different times of the semester : 40%
• Mid-term test : 30%
• Final exam : 30%
Class Quiz
Class quiz will consist of MCQ questions from all lectures until quiz day.
Mid-term will consist of MCQ questions from all lectures until quiz day.
Final exam
Final exam will consist of MCQ and short questions.
The following chart will be followed for grading. This has been customized from the guideline provided by the School of Public Health.
A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
90-100 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 0-44
* Numbers are inclusive
Students who are willing to audit the course are welcome during the first two classes and are advised to contact the instructor after that.
Plagiarism – that is, the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words as student’s own without appropriate acknowledgement–must be strictly avoided. Cheating and plagiarism on exam and assignments are unacceptable.
Please see the Green Book for further information about academic regulation and policies, including withdrawal and grading, appeals and penalties for plagiarism and academic misconduct.
Students with disabilities are required to inform the MPH program manager for any specific requirement for classes or examination as soon as possible.
Awarding of Incomplete or ‘I’ grades should be strongly discouraged. ‘I’ will only be allowed for students who have a valid reason (ascertained by the senior management). In situations where the student is unable to complete the course due to unanticipated illness or family emergency and has not attended at least 75% of the classes held, he/she will be asked to withdraw from that course and repeat it. In unavoidable circumstances where students have completed 75% of the classes but are unable to continue (due to illness or family emergency), incomplete grade of ‘I’ may be granted. Incomplete course has to be completed by the end of the next semester, otherwise grade ‘I’ automatically becomes grade ‘F’. The student is not required to register for the course in the next semester.
A ‘W’ grade means withdrawal. A student may decide to withdraw from a course by the University wide deadline. Students must apply to the Program Office for withdrawal from a course with the permission of the concerned course instructor, Academic Advisor, and the Dean. Withdrawal from only one course in a semester is allowed but the students should provide valid reason along with documents while applying for the withdrawal.
A student can misses a maximum of 8 classes for a particular course. After that the course will be automatically withdrawn. A student automatically withdrawn from a course will NOT be allowed to UNDO it under any circumstances.
Change of grade is strongly discouraged. However, an instructor may request a change of grade when a computational or procedural error occurred in the original assignment of a grade. Instructor must submit the ‘Grade Change Form’ to the respective program office within one month of submitting the final grade rolls. A Grade change has to be requested within 1 month of the day of publishing the grades.